Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Arthur Dansie

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Arthur Dansie

1940 Obituary [1]

THE death of Arthur Dansie, who for nearly forty years had faithfully served on the staff of the Institution of Naval Architects, removes a figure familiar to more than one generation of naval architects. His attendance at the annual meetings of the Institution was as regular as the seasons. Always unruffled and immaculately dressed, he gave of his best to make things easy and pleasant for members and their guests. The smooth running of the meetings and dinners and other entertainments was largely due to his careful preparations and to his tact in meeting the demands made upon him at such times.

Educated privately, he had entered the clerical department of a large business house at an early age, and it was from there that he transferred to the office of the Institution under the late Sir George Holmes.

Dansie's methodical habits and practical common sense soon made him invaluable on the small-the very small-staff which then managed, under the Council, the Institution's affairs. While for most of the year the office work was comparatively light, there came seasons when the approach of a large meeting made heavy calls on the secretariat. In those early days they had none of the modern aids to rapid office work - typewriter, filing and indexing appliances, the addressograph, and other labour-saving devices and we often wonder now how work for so many could be carried out by so few.

By nature conservative, in the sense of being satisfied with things as they are, Arthur Dansie nevertheless readily fell in with progressive ideas and made full use of improvements introduced to reduce unnecessary office work.

His painstaking accuracy in bookkeeping left little for the auditors to do, and they often paid tribute to the excellence of his work. Outside the office his tastes lay in music and the stage. He never married, but t o a sister with whom he shared a home he was deeply attached, and her death left a gap in his life which never fully closed.

He retired only a few years ago to the regret of a wide circle of friends, and his share in building up the prosperity of the Institution to which he gave a lifetime of loyal service will long be remembered.

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